Roots for Peace is a YMCA Europe initiative for stronger youth activism towards peaceful transformation of conflicts in Europe.


The unparalleled terror insurgence, the migration crisis, the new wave of armed conflicts currently unfolding in Europe underlines the fact that hardships and oppression, wars and genocide are not just confined to certain communities, countries or regions. In today globalising world global peace and security are at risk with large. Identity crisis and confusion is everywhere resulting in surge of confronting radical ideologies, which are primarily targeting young people. The YMCAs engaged in bringing about constructive and meaningful change are increasingly encountering conflicts at different levels that directly or indirectly affect lives of young people they want to serve. The challenge for operating in such contexts is to avoid supporting war through echoing the propaganda of divisions, but keeping the channels of dialogue open across dividers. Yet in order to offer responses matching the magnitude of the problems, we need to constantly grow as learning organisation with incessant capacity building in conflict transformation work. Nowadays peace-work cannot be an ad hoc area to jump in; it requires qualities that come with legacy, mandate, structure, experience and competences.

The Roots for Reconciliation project was established in 2007 with the objective to strengthen and extend the YMCA Movement in the region of South Caucasus, as a mass-membership, ecumenical network standing for integrity of creation, peace and justice. Central to the way the project has worked is the enhancement of camping programme as a shared activity that unites young people across socio – political and cultural dividers, with added value for the YMCAs sustainable development.



The YMCA has historically assumed working in and with conflicts as central to its service delivery. Committed to our roots and legacy the YMCA Europe pursues peace and reconciliation as a strategic priority. The Roots for Reconciliation programme, ongoing since 2007 (now Roots for Peace), remains a best practice in this line. In the framework of this initiative the Peace Work Institute scheme was piloted during 2012 – 2015 and approvingly evaluated by an externally facilitated outcome assessment process. This evidence-based evaluation highly recommends the YMCA Europe to repeat the series of the Peace Work Institute. And here we are – launching this call for the next generation of the YMCA pan-European peace-cohort.

2007 - 2019






+ 2,000



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